Natural Support of Diet for Persons with Hypertension

 

     Hypertension happens when there is an abnormal elevated pressure and the heart must work harder to pump an adequate amount of blood to all the tissues of the body.   The treatment is to lower the blood pressure to less than 140 systolic and less than 90 diastolic for most people.  Below are three examples of natural support options to lower blood pressure.  

 

    Nutrition -


      It is important to follow a strict salt-free diet which is the essential for lowering blood pressure.  Start doing this by reading the food labels and look for the serving size amount then the milligrams of sodium.  It depends on the amount of sodium restriction that the doctor wants client to have and it can range from 2,300 mgs to 1,000 mgs per day.  A low sodium product is 300 mgs and under based on the serving size amount.  Also read the ingredient section of the food label  and beware for items that states salt, soda, sodium, sodium bicarbonate, monosodium glutamate.  You want to make sure that they are not the first, second nor the third ingredient on the food label.  There are some foods and food additives that should be avoided on this diet including Accent, baking soda, canned vegetables (unless marked sodium- or salt-free), commercially prepared foods, over-the-counter medications that contains ibuprofen (such as Advil or Nuprin); diet soft drinks, foods with mold inhibitors, preservatives, and/or sugar substitutes; meat tenderizes; softened water and soy sauce (Balch 2006).  


      It is also important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables such as apples. broccoli, grapefruit, spinach etc.  Having a diet that is high in fiber also lowers blood pressure. Some high fiber foods are oat bran, buckwheat, brown rice, fresh live juices - beet, carrot, celery, cranberry, citrus fruit, parsley and watermelon (Balch 2006).   Adding flaxseed 2 tablespoons daily can help with hypertension and drinking about 6-8 cups of water per day is an added benefit to lower blood pressure.  Eat less saturated fat and choose low fat dairy products.


    Avoid all animal beef and pork fats meats, processed  and smoked meats.  The only acceptable animal foods such as fish and skinless turkey and chicken meats.  Get protein from vegetables sources, grains, and legumes instead (Balch 2006).  Avoid foods such as aged cheese and meats, anchovies, avocados, chocolate, fava beans, pickled herring, sherry, sour cream, wine and yogurt.  Avoid all alcohol, caffeine and tobacco.  It is important to have magnesium supplement food items to diet plan in order to lowered blood pressure.  Those food items are almonds, cashews, pecans, rice, bananas, potatoes, wheat germ, kidney and lima beans soy products and molasses.

    

Herbal Medicine -


      Eating a clove of raw garlic daily will help considerably in lowering blood pressure. Olive leaf extract primary active part is called oleuropein produces a strong coronary dilatory effect and a significant decrease in arterial blood pressure (Trivieri & Anderson 2002).  Hawthorn used for centuries in Europe and China for its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system.  Hawthorn fruit and leaf extracts are known to decrease blood pressure.  An hawthorn berries infusion taken (100-250 mg, three times daily) is a gentle and effective way of helping the body to normalize blood pressure (Trivieri & Anderson 2002).  Maitake Mushroom a prized Japanese herb for its ability to strengthen health and gradually decreases high blood pressure to normal levels.  Reishi Mushrooms in Chinese herbal medicine is known as the elixir of immortality.  Research confirms that reishi is an effective cardiotonic and taking reishi mushrooms extract three times a day for four weeks causes significant drop in blood pressure (Trivieri & Anderson 2002).  

    

Qi Gong (Chi Kung) -


      Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese system of self-healing that stimulates and balances the flow of qi or vital life energy, along the acupuncture meridians (Trivieri & Anderson 2002).   Qi Gong is translated as " working with life energy" or "breathing skill" (Knaster 1996).  It is the art and science of using breath, slow movement, visualization and meditation to cleanse, gather and circulate chi (Knaster 1996).  Qi Gong initiates the relaxation response which triggered any form of mental focus that frees the mind from its many distractions.  This decreases the sympathetic function of the autonomic nervous system. This decreases heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the  blood capillaries, and optimizes the delivery of oxygen to the tissues (Trivieri & Anderson 2002).  

 

If you would like to have a personal nutrition and wellness consultation please check the Living Healthy website at http://www.livinghealthy1.org/contact

 

References

 

Balch, P. (2006). High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)  In Prescription for Nutritional Healing (4th ed., pp. 486-491). New York, New York: Penguin Group. 

 

Knaster, M. (1996). Eastern Movement Arts.  Discovering the Body's Wisdom (pp. 354). New York, New York: Bantam Books.

 

Shealy, C. (2002).  Heart, Blood and Circulatory Disorders.  The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies (pp. 331-333). Hammersmith, London: Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

 

Trivieri, L. & Anderson, J. eds. (2002).  Hypertension.  Alternative Medicine:  The Definitive Guide (2nd Ed.  pp. 775-782). Berkeley, California: InnoVision Health Media, Inc.


 

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I am Denine Rogers, MS, RDN, LD, FAND a integrative dietitian nutritionist and wellness coach. So excited that you are viewing my blog!

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